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My Top 5 Thrifting Tips

top thrifting tips

(My most recent thrifting haul – a wardrobe update for fall…whenever it gets here!)

As you may know from following my Instagram feed, I’m an avid thrifter. My love for thrifting started in high school, and followed me well into adulthood. I grew up in a college town, which meant we had amazing thrift shops (thanks to the annual “I’m moving out and have too much shit” effect). My favorite thrift score to date was finding my sister a vintage homecoming dress, straight out of the 1950s. It looked amazing on her, and she could guarantee no one was going to show up wearing anything like it!

After years of thrift shopping, these are my top thrifting tips that work well for me! Feel free to leave your own tips and tricks in the comments!

My Top 5 Thrifting Tips

Tip #1: Do some research before you go!

Before heading out, I suggest researching your local thrift shops online. You can find out their hours, specials or sales, and if their proceeds go toward a charity/cause. This will help you find the best thrift shop for your needs!

Also, if you’re planning to look for furniture or other large items, have a plan for how to get them home! You can easily rent a truck from a moving company, or by the hour from places like Home Depot. In Seattle, some of our Goodwill shops even have Zipcar vans you can rent!

Tip #2: Make a list to keep you on track!

Thrifting can be incredibly overwhelming – especially if you don’t have a game plan! Bring a list of things you’re looking for to keep from getting swamped.

I like to shop for one category or theme each time I head out. For example, I’ll spend one afternoon looking for furniture at a few places. Next time, I’ll focus on books or clothes. Having a specific item in mind keeps you from feeling rushed or tempted to buy too much.

Tip #3: Sizes are arbitrary!

Anyone who has tried to buy vintage will tell you not to bother with size tags. Many of the clothes in thrift shops have outdated sizing, have stretched over time (especially jeans), or been tailored. When looking for clothing, don’t rule out looking a couple sizes up or down!

It’s a good idea to try on clothing before you buy it, but that’s up to how comfortable you are or if the store has changing rooms.

Tip #4: Be realistic about upscaling/repairs!

When you start thrifting, it’s tempting to purchase a “fixer-upper.” Whether it’s a dresser that needs some paint, or blouse that just needs an extra button, you can find great stuff that just needs a little TLC! However, you should be honest about your ability and desire to fix things.

If you already have a stack of clothes that need mending you haven’t touched in months, don’t add to the pile. Also, when it comes to furniture, make sure you have the space to clean/paint/stain your new piece safely!

Tip #5: Be super nice to people working there!

A little kindness really goes a long way at your local thrift shop! I find that when I’m friendly with the staff, I have an easier time bargaining or getting a better deal. More often than not, they’ll give me the employee discount, extra savings points, or “forget” to scan a book or two. If they do, remember to thank them!

However, some places don’t allow for it, so don’t be too disappointed if they say no. It’s probably against their policies, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Just say thanks, and remember you’re getting a major steal anyway!

*****

There you go – my top thrifting tips to make your next trip run smoothly!

Spring Thrift Shop Haul

spring thrift shop haul
It’s strange to think that spring is coming soon – it’s felt somewhere between fall and spring for the past several months. I don’t think the temperatures are going to change much, but I still wanted to update my wardrobe to reflect the changing season. One afternoon, I headed out to my favorite thrift store haunts to add some much-needed color to my closet.

On my first trip, I was looking for a handbag that I could adjust from a shoulder to a cross-body bag. In true thrifting form, I came home with 3 – all of which will be perfect for the spring/summer months! I also found a few scarves that I can’t wait to find a good use for. I’m thinking about framing and hanging the red one, but we’ll see – finding frames is next on my list….

About a week later, I ended up at another store to find they were having a 50% off sale on all of their long-sleeved tops, and I went a little nuts. With the exception of the short-sleeved top, all of them were around $3-4 each! After a winter of wearing mostly black and navy, I can’t wait to add some softer pastels and ivory into my wardrobe.

Now, if only it would warm up a little around here, I’d be all set!

February on Instagram

february on instagram

February was a great month for hiking! The weather was sunny and warm most days, and even if it wasn’t, I managed to get out anyway. It has been amazing to see things starting to sprout, even if it does mean allergy season is fast approaching! Hopefully I’ll be able to get out even more in March!

february on instagram

I didn’t write much about food this past month on the blog, and I probably won’t much next month – but I instagrammed about it a lot. February was all about getting back to normal after the holidays, and I’m looking to keep up the good work in March. Fat Tuesday, or as I know it Paczki Day, was obviously an important day for me (holla to my fellow Poles out there), but after spending the month behaving myself, I could indulge without feeling guilty. I’m finding a balance between eating healthy while still eating well, so of course I make sure not to cut out anything too crazy. I still love a glass of wine…but now, I stop at one (otherwise I’ll be eyeballs deep in junk food later). 

february on instagram

Finally, this past month was big for stocking up on things for spring. I updated my skincare routine after a nasty breakout, renewed my love of print magazines, and did some serious thrift shopping. I can’t wait to share more of what I scored while thrifting this past month – so stay tuned to find out what I came home with!

March is going to be a busy month, with moving into a new place, more job hunting, and some of my favorite shows coming back to TV (is anyone else excited for House of Cards?). I’m also planning to kick up the posts to 4-5 days per week, if I can manage to work that around packing, unpacking, and spring cleaning (which should be easy in a new space, I hope)!

If you want to catch up with what I’ve been ‘gramming, make sure to
click here to follow my Instagram feed!

Life Lately

Life Lately

Happy Monday!

Last week was a long, dreary one (thanks to a rainy PNW winter), and I’m happy to be starting Monday off on a much better foot…if that makes any sense. Here’s a little taste of what I was up to last week:

  • Started off the week feeling like I was catching a cold, so of course I picked up some wine to help fight it off (antioxidants, amiright?). Not sure it worked…haha…but it was a great bottle of wine that paired nicely with Ree Drummond’s Roasted Butternut Squash Salad and steak!
  • After getting one of the worst breakouts I’ve had in years, I hit up Amazon for some skincare magic. It turns out something in my multivitamin was causing it, so goodbye vitamins…and hello to Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel. This stuff smells amazing and really does the job! I’m also loving the Embryolisse Lait-creme Concentre, and the OGX Argan Oil Body Lotion
    I’ve used for years (I think I’m on my 4th or 5th bottle). My skin is much happier now from head to toe!
  • To help bring some cheer into such a grey and rainy week, I decided to do some thrifting. I came home with a few silk scarves and some new handbags that are perfect for spring. I can’t wait to share them with you when the sun comes back out and I can photograph them!

Here are a few other things I enjoyed online over the past week, if you need a bit of a mid-day distraction. Hope you are having a great start to your week!

  • Here is a list of 10 “little-known” beauty products with amazing reviews on Amazon. I’ve heard of most of these, but I was interested to see a $40 straightening iron that outclassed most $200 versions! (Byrdie)
  • Man Repeller’s review of the J. Crew Fall/Winter ’16 show has the perfect slideshow to get you ready for spring. I know, the clothes are fall/winter, but the colors are straight springtime! (Man Repeller)
  • If you’re like me, and shudder at the thought of staying at a crap hotel near your alma mater, check out this video on “graduate hotels.” A design company is turning crappy, outdated college area hotels into amazing, luxurious, and nostalgic experiences for returning alumni. I’d gladly visit my old college stomping grounds more if I knew I could stay in one of these, rather than a seedy motel! (Goop)
  • The Savannah College of Art & Design recently unveiled a project that turned unused parking spaces in a parking garage into functional, beautiful micro-living spaces for college students. They are looking at solutions for cities dealing with housing shortages, and found that while there often isn’t space for housing, there are 5 parking spots for every 1 car in the U.S., which means precious land in our major U.S. cities often sits empty. Living so close to Seattle, I know firsthand how tough it is to find any housing…let alone decent housing within a realistic budget. I’m excited to see where this project leads, to be honest! (Design Sponge)

2015 Year in Review: Home

2015 Year in Review: Home

Decoration Inspiration: Thanksgiving / Spooky Fireplace / Holiday Decor: A Compromise / Home Office Makeover

My home-related posts this year were…not great. While I enjoy decorating our home, this year was challenging. We moved from a tiny, one-bedroom apartment that I lived in alone half the time, to a much larger two-bedroom apartment.

We have more space than we really need, very little storage, and I’m back to compromising with my husband. Add a tiny budget to that, and I’ve had to get very creative!

This is also the year I discovered Pinterest. It has been both a huge time-waster, and a great way to gather inspiration for future projects. I think it has helped me figure out what my home decor style really is, and I’ve enjoyed all the DIY projects they have on there to make my home amazing on a very, very tight budget!

2015 Year in Review: Home

Maintaining Wooden Cookware / Recent Thrift Store Buys / Thrifty Fall Updates / Easy Green: Potting House Plants

Even though I spent most of 2015 fantasizing about what I would love my future fantasy home to be like, I did also tackle some projects around the house. I learned how to take better care of my stuff, killed a few houseplants, and found some amazing thrift store buys.

I hope that next year I can tackle more DIY projects (I have one already in the works), figure out our storage problems, and since we’re planning on moving again soon, maybe find a place that meets more of our needs (like light…not that it’s easy to find here).

What are your home goals for 2016?